Why there is a difference in the way you approach hiring

Every business meeting I attend or business survey I have seen lately seems to result in one particular common business challenge. The topic that is the No. 1, top-of-mind business issue everywhere today is the ability to find and retain good people.

While the reasons for this challenge are pretty clear, the solution is not. Unemployment is at a nearly all-time low and many of those currently not working likely don’t have the skills, the motivation or the experience you are looking for in a new hire.

A contributing challenge includes the huge group of baby boomers (who happen to be our longer term employees) who have hit or are hitting retirement age. Planning for their exit and transferring their knowledge is a must before they go. But who are you going to transfer it to? Your best source is likely people who already have a job.

Yes, this issue is common. But did it make your list of business priorities for 2018? How about 2019?

All businesses and CEOs I know establish annual areas of focus often referred to as business priorities. These initiatives usually focus on a few areas that leadership has determined as opportunities to grow or areas of weakness they want to focus on improving.

They are meant to keep everyone in the organization focused on what is important and to help resource appropriately to make the initiative a success. In today’s world, I believe that leadership teams in every business must include an initiative that supports attracting and keeping good people.

This people-related initiative should deal with specific areas that would fall under culture or process.

Any business priority designed to confront people issues should answer at least the following questions: Do we have the right culture to both attract and keep the people we want? Do we have creative recruiting and hiring practices that will attract people I want and who already have a job? Do our onboarding processes make the new hires instantly feel like they made the right choice and are contributing to the success of the organization?

First impressions really do last.

I believe that most organizations would be better served with an attracting mindset, rather than a recruiting mindset.

Frequently, our best source of new hires comes by way of referrals from current employees. Do you have a robust system to reward your current employees who help bring the right people into your organization? Is your website built to attract new hires or just customers?

If a prospect goes to your website, will they get an honest feel for your culture or is it just a posting of open positions? Do you use video of current employees or company events so prospects can get a feel for your culture and whether they might be a fit?

Of course, there’s no one right way to attract and retain good people. My point is that in today’s environment, a more conscientious approach may be required to be successful.

Tony Mazzella is CEO at Mazzella Cos.